Saturday, November 12, 2011

District Governor Mitchell visits Belle Fourche Lions

While the Belle Fourche Lions Club has demonstrated its deep involvement in helping solve community problems and enhance the quality of life in our community, Lions International continues to leave a big footprint around the entire world.

District 5SW Governor Wanda Mitchell
of Custer with President Brian Kline
And Lions have never shied away from challenges, especially when the stakes are so high.

District Governor Wanda Mitchell of Custer outlined a relatively new Lions International initiative to the Belle Fourche club this week (11/10/11) at their regular meeting at The Mulligan in the Belle Fourche Country Club.  Lions International has teamed up with the Bill Gates Foundation and will be working to help eradicate measles in developing countries around the globe.

“Every day, 200 children die from measles in Third World countries.  I find that almost unbelievable,” said Mitchell. 

“Even children who survive the disease end up with blindness, so we’re hoping that – with the combined resources of the Bill Gates Foundations and Lions International Foundation – we can eradicate measles in Third World countries.”

District Governor Mitchell also told of the enormous positive response to President Tam’s initiative to have Lions plant one million trees around the world.  While that goal has already be surpassed, district 5SW has established a goal of planting 500 trees -- most likely concentrating on the Pierre and Fort Pierre areas, which lost an enormous number of trees in recent flooding.

The next Lions meeting will be December 8th, and plans are already underway for a Lions Christmas Party on Friday, December 16th at Mulligan's.

Of special note during the November 10th meeting was presentation of awards for the annual Peace Poster contest sponsored by Lions.  This year, First Place went to Marcella Tyrell, and Second Place was awarded to Caden Kinter.  Both are 6th Graders at the Belle Fourche Middle School.  Marcella was awarded $50
, and her entry will be sent to the Lion's district Peace Poster competition. Caden received $25 for his poster entry.    

Winners of the 2011-12 Belle Fourche Lions Club Peace Poster contest are shown after receiving
their awards Thursday evening (11/10/11).  Left-to-right are Marcella Tyrell, who received First
Prize; her mother, Shandra Klienhan; LeAnn Steffen is standing behind her son, Caden, who was
awarded Second Prize.  At right is Middle School teacher and contest supervisor Kristy Messner.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Belle Fourche Lions celebrate 75 years

Although 75 years have elapsed since the Belle Fourche Lions Club was chartered in October of 1936, the club has carried on its tradition of service throughout the community.

More than 70 folks packed The Mulligan at the Belle Fourche Country Club Saturday evening (10/29/11) for a dinner gathering to celebrate their 75 years of service.  Lion Bob Morris served as Master of Ceremonies.  Numerous Lion leaders from outside the community joined in the festivities, including District Governor Wanda Mitchell of Custer.

Keynote speaker for the event was a past International Director of Lions Clubs, Randy Heitmann of Cambridge, Nebraska.

“It is apparent that your club is a mainstay in the community,” Heitmann told the gathering.

“When anything needs to be done in the community, it appears that the first thing they do is ask the Belle Fourche Lions Club.  And it’s obvious to me that it always gets done.”

Club president Brian Kline provided a brief glimpse of key Lions projects over the years, ranging from sponsoring a mobile health van and supplying eyeglasses for needy residents to community projects like construction of park shelters and restoration of the Johnny Spaulding cabin.  Most recently, the club helped build a community disc golf course along the Belle Fourche River waterfront.  And Lions are always on hand to help with the All-Car Rally and the Black Hills Roundup.

Last spring, the club was presented the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce Community Pride Award for 2011.  

As part of the 75th anniversary celebration, Lion Randy Heitmann (far left) presented Certificates of Appreciation from International President Wing-Kun Tam to four Belle Fourche Lions for their work on behalf of Lions.  Recipients are shown holding their certificates in the photo above.  Left-to-right are Lions Tom Nary, Bob Schnaible, Larry Miller, and Gerald Keil.   Club president Brian Kline is at right.

You'll find a few photos from this very special event in our 75th Anniversary Gallery.  We've also assembled a short video, and you'll find a link to it in the column to the right. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Peace Poster winners to be honored November 10th

Belle Fourche Lions will honor 2011 winners of the Lions Club Peace Poster contest at the club meeting on Thursday, November 10th.

Judges Mick Harrison (center), Belle Fourche artist, and Linda Rothermel (right) inspect the work of Kristy Messner's (left) Middle School students.  Harrison, Rothermel, and Messner have received certificates of appreciation from Lions for their work with the contest through the years.

(Thanks to Lion Bill Kunerth for photo and information!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Belle Fourche Lions celebrate 75 years

by Bill Kunerth

Lions Rich Drabek and Ron Ensz proudly hold the
Belle Fourche Lions charter document from 1936.
On October 10, 1936, at the Club Cafe, 24 Belle Fourche men became charter members of  Belle Fourche Lions Club No. 003404 of the International Lions organization.  Charter President was A.R. Powell, druggist; Charter Secretary was O. J. Buxton, service station owner. Other members whose names are etched in Belle Fourche history were Dr. R. M Buck, veterinarian; Lem Overpeck, attorney; Otha Frost, funeral director; Mike Heinbaugh, newspaper editor;  Dr. D. A. Lind, dentist; Rueben Schmidt, druggist;  Dr. Sion Sherrill, physician, and Seth Smith jeweler. Sponsoring the new club was the Rapid City Lions Club 00346 which is still in operation. Since then, the Belle Fourche Lions have sponsored five clubs in the Black Hills area: Spearfish, Sturgis, Buffalo, Piedmont Valley, and the Northern Lights Lions Club of Belle Fourche.
On Saturday, October 29, Belle Fourche Lions  will celebrate the 75th anniversary of their club  at The Mulligan at the Belle Fourche Country Club, with a dinner at 7 p.m., preceded by a social hour from 6 to 7 p.m. The public is invited and must make reservations with Brian Kline, 892-6836, by Thursday, Oct. 20  Tickets are $20 per person.
Lion Randy Heitmann
Guest speaker will be Randy Heitmann of Cambridge, NE, past Lions international director.  Lion Heitmann has held several other major positions in Lions from club president to USA/Canada district governor. He is also recipient of the International President’s Ambassador of Good Will Award, the highest honor the association bestows. Heitmann is owner of a taxation and accounting service and is active in health, business, and church affairs in his community.
Brian Kline, president of the Belle Fourche Lions, allows that “A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the club’s founding but we’re proud to have continued to uphold the Lion motto, “We Serve.” The club received the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce Community Pride award for 2011 at the Chamber’s 100th anniversary celebration last spring.
Kline said that through the years, the Lions have been involved in an impressive number of public  service projects, as well as fund raising activities.  These include:       Constructing ten picnic shelters, a rest room facility in Hermann Park, helping build a Habitat for Humanity home and Bowman Hall in the Park, cleaning the trash on a two-mile section of Highway 34, and working on the housing project for homeless women veterans in Belle Fourche.
"Master Chef" Lion Tom Nary at work
The club also sponsors the annual Lions Peace Poster contests, has performed blood pressure and other tests from the mobile Lions health van, supplied glasses for needy residents and sold white canes to provide financial assistance to the sight impaired. The Lions moved the Johnny Spaulding cabin to Belle Fourche, built a new porch on it, and helped construct a disc golf course along the Belle Fourche River waterfront.  Fund-raising projects that help finance these projects  have included selling candy, light bulbs, and Christmas coloring books. The club also provides food at the All-Car rally, ushers at the Black Hills Roundup, and holds pancake feeds.
Several Belle Fourche Lions have held leadership positions at the district and state levels and have  been  honored for the service.   Charles Bruggeman and Tony Schmaltz were presidents of the South Dakota Lions Foundation. Burton Penfold, George Freemole, Dale Gillette, Henry Kahler, Rich Drabek (Presho Lions Club), and Charles Livingston were district governors. Drabek and Livingston have both been named to the South Dakota Lions Hall of Fame.  Livingston, Drabek, Lee Voyles, and Al Shaw are Melvin Jones Fellows.
Club President Kline said, “We are proud to have been associated with an organization which has served Belle Fourche for 75 years and we have confidence it will do so for another 75. We hope many Belle Fourche residents will celebrate with us on October 29.” 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lions learn about Northern Hills Training Center

The Northern Hills Training Center in Spearfish has been providing services for adults with developmental disabilities for some 35 years now.

Chris Davis, who handles public relations for NHTC, shared a bit of history and details of those services this week (10/13/11) with members of the Belle Fourche Lions during a meeting at the Belle Fourche Country Club. .

"We started by serving six people back in 1976.  Today, we serve 130 persons," said Davis.

Discussions about creating such a facility in this region date back to 1973, when a group of citizens met to discuss creation of a workshop for the developmentally disabled in the northern Black Hills.  According to New Directions, the quarterly newsletter published by NHTC, the first residence was acquired in 1976.   Since then, they've added six more residences and also have people living independently or with their families.

"To serve our 130 persons, we have a staff of some 150 people," said Davis, noting that their range of services fall under four categories:  residential, vocational services, medical services, and services coordination.  Many of the people served by NHTC are able to pursue employment in the community, including many retail and manufacturing facilities in Spearfish and Belle Fourche.

Northern Hills Training Center is a nonprofit organization that provides vocational and independent living services to "empower adults with disabilities, encouraging all to strive for their ultimate potential in all aspects of their lives."  You can find out more about NHTC by visiting their web site at

We learned that while many of the residents at NHTC receive government support, the center relies upon donors to help NHTC achieve their goals.  Persons wishing to consider a gift can go to

We particularly liked the statement prominently displayed on the banner of all New Directions newsletters published by NHTC:  Our goal is to help others reach theirs.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kline takes helm of Belle Fourche Lions Club

Former District Governor Ken Gifford was in town this week to help both the Belle Fourche Lions Club and the Northern Lights Lions Club with their installation of officers and directors.  It was the first fall meeting for Lions, which has taken a brief summer respite from regular meetings -- although club projects have continued full force. 

While some of the installed officers and directors remain the same, there's a new president as Brian Kline (at right in the photo) assumed those chores from outgoing president Ron Ensz.

It'll be a big year for the Belle Fourche club, as they begin preparations to celebrate 75 years of service to the community.  Lion president Kline announced that the 75th anniversary supper is scheduled for October 29th at the country club, and that Lions Ensz, Cooper and Keil have agreed to serve on a committee that that they say is "focused on food"!  

Speaker for the celebratory event will be Lion Randy Heitman from Nebraska, a Past International Director for Lions.  Invitations will be going out soon for the gathering, and all members have been encouraged to mark their calendars for this very special date:  Saturday, October 29th.  And you can watch this web site for details as they become available.

The Belle Fourche club voted unanimously to continue participation in the Lions Peace Poster Contest, which offers 11, 12, and 13-year-old students an opportunity to tap their talents in developing posters with a message.  This year, the worldwide theme is "Children Know Peace."  More than four million children from nearly 100 countries have participated in the contest in years gone by.  2011-12 will offer yet another opportunity for Belle Fourche students to express their visions of peace.  

These Lions were installed as new officers and directors for the Belle Fourche Lions Club during ceremonies Thursday (9/8/11) at the Belle Fourche Country Club.   Shown (left-to-right) are: Rich Drabek, Treasurer; Rick Bartels, 1st Vice-President;   former District Governor Ken Gifford of Rapid City, who conducted the ceremonies; Ron Ensz, outgoing President; John Cooper, Tail Twister; Gerald Keil, Lion Tamer; Brian Kline, President; Tom Hood, 2-Year Director; and Del Neumeister, Secretary.
Lion Bill Kunerth received an award for his diligent work in recruiting new members.  We captured that presentation on film (okay, a microchip!) and it's included in our Lion's Photo Gallery, along with a collection of photos from other Lions-related activities.

Members were reminded of the Fall Rally at the Ramkota in Pierre on Friday and Saturday, October 30th and September 1st.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

GoodSearch & GoodShop team up with SD Lions Foundation

Here are a couple of quick and easy ways that ALL Lions can help raise money for the Lions Foundation of South Dakota.

First, simply download the GoodSearch tool bar and select the Lions Foundation of South Dakota as the charity for which you can raise money without even breaking a sweat!  Just lift your fingers, type, and search the web.  How easy is that?  To learn more, and download the search tool bar, simply go to

You’ll find a boat load of information about this program, which can go a long way to helping South Dakota Lions fortify resources in order to better accomplish our mission.  Plus, you’ll learn about GoodShop, a companion project that helps our foundation earn a donation every time you shop on line!

Here is an interesting statistic shared by Barbara Armango of the Lions Foundation office in Sioux Falls:  if two people perform two web searches using GoodSearch every day for a year, it would generate $730 for the foundation.

“Think about it, we are 2000-plus members strong.  Just think what we can do!"

"And if you make purchases on GoodShop, participating companies will give a percentage of your purchase to our foundation,” says Armango.  Great firms like Amazon, Target, Gap, Best Buy, eBay, Barnes & Noble, Toys R Us, and hundreds more are participating in this endeavor.

GoodSearch is powered by Yahoo, and they’ll donate about a penny to our cause each time you search.

And some 1,300 merchants participate in the GoodShop program, donating a percentage of each purchase to our Lions Foundation of South Dakota.

Visit and to learn more.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Smokey the Bear stops by for a visit as Lions serve brats and burgers during the 24th Annual   All Car Rally on June 18, 2011.  Lions Mike Reade' (left) and Leo Orme assure Smokey that they're adhering to all Herrmann Park rules. See more photos in our Lion's Club Gallery.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A pride of Lions who can be proud!

Not ones to rest on their laurels after the club received the 2011 Community Pride Award from the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce just last month, these club members went right back to work!

Despite threatening storms -- and a few raindrops falling from the sky -- these Lions took to the roadside Thursday (5/26/11) to pick up trash along U.S. 34 west of the Country Club.  It's part of a continuing project spearheaded by the Lions and led by Lion Harry Haivala.

Kudos to Lions (left-to-right) Brian Kline, Del Neumeister, Harry Haivala, Gerald Keil, Ron Ensz, Bob Tipton, Chuck Livingston, Eric Beals, and Bob Schniable.  After completing their task Thursday, they were recognized for their good work during the regular Lions meeting at the Country Club.  

It was the final spring meeting for the club, which takes a respite from regular meeting during a summer recess.

But that doesn't mean projects stop!  In fact, the coming couple of months will be busy with All Car Rally weekend in mid-June.  Lions will again be serving burgers and brats at Scott Peterson Motors on Friday evening (6/17/11).  More brats and burgers -- plus mini-donuts -- will be sold at Herrmann Park on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Then on July 2, 3, and 4, Lions will be ushering at the Black Hills Roundup, another event that has become a highly popular event for Lions who've participated.  Members who volunteer will get free admission to the rodeo and meet a lot of "fun and interesting"  people (to quote Lion president Ron Ensz) from all over the United State and even other countries.

Lions roared their appreciation to Lion Ensz, who presided at his final meeting.  Well done, Lion president Ron!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Trump entertains Lions with a bit of history

Belle Fourche attorney Michael Trump last night (5/12/11) gave Lions a lively history lesson about old Deadwood, drawing upon research he did for his 157-page book Raiding Deadwood’s Bad Lands:  Its Illegal History of Prostitution and Gambling

When Deadwood was chosen as the only city in the United States to be designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1964, prostitution was still legal -- and would remain so for another 16 years.

Trump opined that Deadwood was one of the last gold rush mining towns established in the Black Hills, and that by 1876 many other communities were already getting organized, families were moving in and law and order was being implemented. So the purveyors of prostitution and gambling found new opportunities in the emerging settlement along Deadwood Gulch.

"You had people coming in to Deadwood that literally had made a career out of running a vice of some sort, and by the time they got to Deadwood, they were very experienced," said Trump.

Trump passed around a copy of his, which chronicles the long history of the red light district before and after prohibition. It's an Adams Museum & House publication.

Author Trump's father was a president at Black Hills State University, where Trump earned a bachelor's degree in history. During his time here, he visited Deadwood and was startled to see a building placard denoting the existence of legalized prostitution until 1980.

As he pursued a master's degree at the University of Wyoming, he was not enamored by thesis topics suggested by his major professor. That's when he presented his idea of the 1980 brothel raids in Deadwood.

I’ll never forget how his eyes lit up; he loved contemporary history stories, and he was completely sold on that idea.”

If Trump's professor was intrigued by the topic, so were the assembled Lions, as he told the story about how well-known television and movie actor Woody Harrelson's father, Charles, had been charged in the 1979 killing of a federal judge in San Antonio, Texas. Although a link was apparently never fully documented, a Deadwood brothel was believed to be a site where investigators were seeking evidence related to that case. The elder Harrelson was later convicted of the crime and sent to prison. He died in a Colorado prison in 2007.

In a short business session following Trump’s presentation, Belle Fourche Lions reaffirmed their focus on “Sight and Sound” projects that relate to the long-standing mission of Lions clubs.  The club has expanded its scope of community service projects over the years, but declined to back away from any of the many worthwhile initiatives in which members have been involved – ranging from building park shelters to roadside trash pick-up.

Club Treasurer Rich Drabek was again honored for his continuing good work in promoting Lion membership.  He was presented with news pins and certificates documenting his “Membership Excellence” by bringing two new members into the club last year.  You'll find the full-sized photo of this presentation and a wide variety of other club photos in our Lions Gallery.

Chairman Harry Haivala announced that volunteers are needed for a Highway 34 trash clean-up on Thursday, May 26, just prior to our regular Lions meeting.  Volunteers will gather at the Country Club at 5 o’clock and then re-convene later for our final meeting.

Belle Fourche Lions Club will mark its 75th anniversary next October, and it was agreed that the club will host a major event that month – inviting spouses and Lions members from surrounding communities to join us as we celebrate 75 years of service to the community!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Disc golf course nears completion

Another important enhancement is nearly complete along the Riverwalk in Belle Fourche, and several Lions Club members joined other volunteers and city workers today (5/3/11) to make it happen.

Concrete pads were poured and holes set for a new disc golf course along the river near the Chamber of Commerce offices.

Lions Leo Orme, Rich Drabek, Mike Reade’ and Ron Ensz – armed with rakes, shovels and trowels – were part of the work force that showed up on what turned out to be a splendid spring morning.  It wasn’t a day too early, since some forecasters are predicting rain in the next few days.

According to Susan Peterson, one of the committee folks involved with the project, there’ve been lots of volunteers who’ve been working hard to further develop and enhance areas along the nearly five miles of walkways throughout the community.

Kudos to Lions Leo Orme, Rich Drabek, Ron Ensz,
 and Mike Reade' for  their good work on the new
disc golf course along the Belle Fourche River.
The nine hole course should be complete in about two weeks.

“We’re hoping to have a ribbon cutting around June 18th, along with a disc golf tournament,” Peterson told us.

She acknowledged that many businesses, organizations, and individuals have been involved with the project – but she specifically recognized Pioneer Bank & Trust and the Clarkson family for their support.

City workers  were a big part of the Tuesday work project, and Rapid City engineer Scott Caeser provided technical guidance on the installation of the new course.  We snapped several photos of the work party, and you'll find them displayed in our Lions Gallery.

Hats off to Lions and others who’ve contributed time, talent and financing to another worthwhile community project.   

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lions cop Chamber of Commerce award

"For presenting Belle Fourche as an attractive, well-rounded community, and for your efforts in maintaining the physical appearance through landscaping and restoration..."  
The Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce presented their 2011 Community Pride award to the Lions Club.  President Ron Ensz (left) receives the award on behalf of the club from Chamber president Rich Drabek at the 100th Anniversary Chamber of Commerce Banquet on April 8th. 
 Roar, Lions, Roar!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

They came for the "flapjacks"

Despite the recent snowfall.......and the cloudy, dreary weather.......there was a great turnout yesterday (3/27/11) for the Lions Breakfast at the Belle Fourche Moose Lodge.

Lion Bob Schnaible turns some flapjacks.
"It was a record crowd for our pancake feeds, and we greatly appreciate the community support," said Lion president Ron Ensz.

"It will help us finance several of our many projects."

Although the event started at a snail's pace, activity picked up quickly and by 9:30 a.m. a hefty stream of people were coming through the doors in search of the famous Lion pancakes.  Another throng of folks found their way to the Moose Lodge following church.

Lions treasurer Rich Drabek estimates that some 275 people showed up for the event, which is a major fundraiser for the club.  Take a peek in our Lions Pancake Gallery to see a few of the photos we snapped..

Many thanks to all Lions who turned out to work this event -- and to the many good folks who showed up to enjoy the food and support Lions projects throughout the community.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

District Governor Burkhead visits Belle Fourche

It was a busy meeting this week (3/24/11) as Lions District 5-SW Governor Larry Burkhead of Rapid City stopped by for a visit -- and to present some awards.  It was DG Burhead's third visit to our club.

Lions Del Neumeister (left) and John Cooper (right)
flank DG Larry Burhead, who presented awards.
Lion Del Neumeister was presented with two awards.  First, he was honored with a Multiple District 5 "Rookie Lion Award," followed by the "Proud Lion Award," involving a variety of activities demonstrating his positive promotion of Lionism during a six-month period.   Then Lion John Cooper took a short respite from his Tail Twister duties to receive a "Rookie Lion Supporter" certificate.  Congratulations Lions Del and John!  We have a couple of other photos from this event in our Lions Gallery.

With spring -- and hopefully better weather -- upon us, there was discussion about a timetable for next steps in our project to assist with development of the new Frisbee Course near U.S. Highway 85 just west of the bridge.  Mid-to-late April will find Lion workers helping pour round concrete pads for the course.  Because of Good Friday and other conflicts, a specific date has not been set.

All members were reminded that the Pancake Breakfast is this coming Sunday at the Moose Lodge.  A sign-up sheet was passed around for the "early"  and "late" shifts, and a few more tickets were distributed.  Serving on Sunday will begin at 8:00 a.m. and continue until 1:00 p.m.

Lion Leo Orme topped off the evening with a grand presentation on the Barns of Lawrence county, narrating a video the helps tell the story of many classic barns in this area.   It was an abbreviated but updated version of a program he gave last year at the Spearfish Area Historical Society.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Northern Lights Lions sign charter!

Thirteen of the charter members of the Northern Lights Lions Club of Belle Fourche were on hand last night (3/10/11) to participate in the signing of their charter, which was originally approved on November 16, 2009.  

The Belle Fourche Lions Club sponsored the new group and welcomed members of the new club last night -- offering congratulations on their achievement.  It was a festive evening for members of both clubs. First to sign the document was Northern Lights president Bev Banks (at right), followed by 12 other charter members who were in attendance for this special occasion..

In part, the new charter document reads, "Know Ye that the International Association of Lions clubs has granted, and by these presents does grant to the Members whose names are hereunto affixed and to all regularly elected officers and their successors, this Charter fully consitituting them a Local Club, under the name and title of The Lions Club of Belle Fourche Northern Lights sponsored by Belle Fourche...."

In the photo at left, Belle Fourche Lions president Ron Ensz joins Northern Lights president Bev Banks in showing off the new charter. 

Lion Rich Drabek, who was instrumental in helping shepherd both clubs through the process of forming the new group, took a moment to acknowledge the early achievement of the fledgling club.

"The Northern Lights club has challenged themselves to take on a new project every month," noted Drabek, who led the applause for this newest club in the northern Black Hills region.

In the photograph below, members of the new club proudly gathered around their newly-signed charter.  We were delighted to be able to share this special evening with them.  Congratulations and Well Done to our "sisters" from Northern Lights!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

February 24th Lions meeting is a busy one!

Belle Fourche Lions received a quick primer on the are of book publishing this week (2/24/11). Rural Belle Fourche author Mary Buchholz shared the step-by-step process by which she and Jordan Wilms of the Tri-State Museum collaborated on their 2008 book entitled Belle Fourche.

Published by Arcadia Publishing of Charleston, South Carolina, the book contains more than 200 historic photographs.

Buchholtz is working on another book that deals with the history of Harding County.
Lions are meeting at Mulligans.  That's a new name for gathering spot at the Belle Fourche Country Club.  The facility has been remodeled, offering a more spacious site for meetings.

An "old friend" has rejoined us for our meetings -- the framed document that chartered our club back on October 21, 1936.  Of course, that was a while back, before many -- if not most -- of our club members were born!  Although faded by time, it contains the signatures of our charter members.

Treasurer Rich Drabek (left) and club president Ron Ensz admire the document, which returns to a prominent position on the wall of our meeting site.  Members are encouraged to take a closer look at this document at a future meeting.

Ron Ensz distributed the attractively-printed tickets for our forthcoming pancake breakfast, which is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., on Sunday, March 27th at the Moose Lodge.  Members are encouraged to sell as many as possible, since this is a major fundraiser for us, allowing us to continue pursuit of many projects.  Contact Lion Ron if you don't yet have your tickets, or if you need more!

Recognition was given to the six Lions who helped with a project designed to better accommodate Belle Fourche High School senior Dylan Norris.  The 16-year-old lad was seriously injured in a dirt bike accident last summer.  High school students have built a handicapped-accessible ramp for Dylan, and Lions last week completed some painting for the project.  Three cheers for the fellow Lions who turned out to help on this project.  They are pictured below.

Let's have a Roar for these Lions!  Standing lef-to-right are Leo Orme, Brian Kline, Rich Drabek,
and Tim Cleveland.  Seated are Gerald Keil, Ron Ensz, and Robert Schnaible.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lions return to Country Club for meetings

In an e-mail to members today (2/7/11), Lions Club president Ron Ensz announced that our meeting this week (2/10/11) will be back at the Belle Fourche Country Club.

Lion Ensz reports that the facility is under new management, and they are looking forward to hosting our twice-a-month meetings.  We noted in recent proceedings that the Belle Fourche city council approved the transfer of a liquor license from the Belle Fourche Country Club, Inc. to L.B. Moser, LLC, doing business as "The Mulligan."   

For those of us with lagging memories, the Belle Fourche Country Club is located at  10941 South Dakota Highway 34.

Join us for a big Lions "roar" as we return to our old den.  Social at 6:00 p.m., meeting at 7:00 p.m.

Friday, January 28, 2011

New dimensions for the Black Hills School of Woodworking

Meg English
When Watertown native Meg English sat down to break bread with the Belle Fourche Lions Club this week (1/27/11), she was on a mission.  Her talk to the Lions was billed as background about the Black Hills School of Woodworking, but it ended up being quite a bit more.

She shared some exquisite wood products that had been built at the school, which is located in the old Belle Fourche City Hall and is operated by her and her husband, John.  Born in Limerick, Ireland, John English was trained as a cabinetmaker here in South Dakota and has become a renowned writer for most major woodworking magazines and was editor of Woodworker’s Journal.  He’s been building furniture for some 30 years.

But Meg English unveiled a bit of information that may have surprised a few old timers and newcomers alike – there’s a new school in town.

The Arts and Learning Center of the Black Hills goes beyond the many facets of the woodworking school, which already offers a bevy of topics in furniture design and building, including two lathe classes that will be offered in February.  The expanded offerings include writing workshops, photography, ACT preparation, tutoring, and more.

But beyond the creativity and educational activities they’re nurturing in the old City Hall building,  English touted the uniqueness of Belle Fourche.

“Most people don’t seem to realize what a treasure this is,” she said of Belle Fourche, seeming to encourage Lions to roar forward and participate in something of a renaissance for downtown Belle, perhaps building a bit on the historic roots of the old west town.

Lions Rik Bartels (left) and Ron Ensz (right)
help Meg English display items crafted at the Black Hills
School of Woodworking in Belle Fourche
There’s certainly an appreciation for history at the new Arts & Learning Center of the Black Hills.  Not only is it located in a Depression-era sandstone building, but it’s chosen the name Gallery 97 for the gallery where products from art furniture and stained glass to bronzes and fine art are exhibited.  Definitely rooted in history!

You'll find more information about both of these enterprises by visiting their new web site at  

This January meeting of the Belle Fourche Lions also finalized key elements for the Lions Annual Pancake Breakfast, which has been set for Sunday, March 27th at the Moose Lodge.  Lion Bob Schnaible reported that the “all you can eat” event will get underway at 8:00 a.m. and continue until 1:00 p.m., offering hungry customers delicious hotcakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee.  All members are encouraged to mark their calendars and spread the word.

See a few additional photos from this latest meeting in our Lions Gallery.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Belle Fourche Lions gather for first 2011 meeting

Lion Vicky Glatt
Visitors from the Spearfish Queen City Lions Club dropped in for the January 13th meeting of the Belle Fourche Lions Club at the Branding Iron -- the first official meeting for the  Belle Fourche group for 2011.  Members were pleased to welcome Lion Vicky Glatt, vice-president of the Spearfish group, and Lion Cynda Wessel.   

They shared information about plans for their wine tasting fundraiser scheduled  for next month in Spearfish.  The event will take place on February 12th at the Snapper's building in Spearfish City Park.  Of course, Lions Glatt and Wessel also sold a few tickets while in Belle Fourche.  They said awards will be presented for the best vintners and home brew entries for the tasting.  We suspect that more information about the event may be found very soon on their Queen City Lions web site. 

Lion Gerald Keil calls upon guest Lion Cynda Wessel from
the Queen City  Lions Club to assist with the 50-50 drawing
Belle Fourche Lions president Ron Ensz gave kudos to Lions Gerald Keil and Bob Morris for their fine work through the holiday for Lions events -- especially the great job they did for the December Christmas party.

Apart from routine business of approving the minutes and the financial report, the group also gave approval to  supporting the upcoming Belle Fourche Middle School Science Fair with a financial donation. The club has supported the fair in past years.

President Ensz reminded club members that the South Dakota Lions State Convention is just around the corner,  and this year it's being held at The Lodge at Deadwood Friday, January 21 and Saturday, January 22.  Check out the South Dakota Lions Foundation web sight for further information.

An early heads up was given regarding the fact that the Belle Fourche Lions Club will be celebrating its 75th anniversary next November.  Obviously we'll be hearing more about that in the weeks and months ahead!